The Effect of Increased Schooling in the Colombian Labor Market Between 2008 and 2016

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Tomás Aristizábal Lopera
Esteban Ángel López


Colombian labor market, Colombian salaries, Colombia, Mincer model


We examine the changes in the supply of Colombian workers with different levels of schooling and estimate the effect of these changes on salaries between 2008 and 2016 using a Mincer model.  The share of the work force with primary schooling or less declined from 46% to 32.5%, the share with secondary schooling rose from 36% to 39.5%, and the share with tertiary schooling rose from 18 to 28%.  We find that schooling had positive effects at every level of schooling, but particularly at the tertiary level.  The marginal effect of a year of schooling declined at every level.  In real terms we find an increase of 21% in average salaries for workers with primary schooling between 2008 and 2016 but few changes in average salaries among more educated workers.  Since the share of more educated workers increased, total labor income in Colombia increased substantially over these years.


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